An innovative electronic device, that disinfects water by killing or inactivating all kind of pathogenic microorganisms within minutes.
One billion people around the world still have no access to drinking water – more than one million people die each year, most of them children, by drinking water that contains disease-causing organisms.
So we thought there must be a solution and invented HYQUATOR.
A portable, battery and solar powered electronic device, that disinfects water by killing or inactivating all kind of pathogenic microorganisms, within minutes and preventing their further regrowth.
HYQUATOR works without filters, without UV light and needs NO additional chemical component. (patent pending)
How it works
It works in a primary process by killing pathogens within minutes and in a secondary process, prevents the regrowth of microorganisms, leaving a disinfectant residual that provides safe drinking water.
• The disinfectant will be formed on-site and only in the necessary quantity, so there is no need for additional chemicals
• It kills or inactivates pathogens within minutes
• It also works in water with high levels of suspended solids, color or in turbidity
• Microprocessor controlled and equipped with sensors to measure environmental parameters
• Easy to use - red light "don't drink" , green light and buzzer signal "safe to drink"
• Can sanitize 100 glasses of water with one battery charge
• Price – Make HYQUATOR as inexpensive as possible to make it affordable to much people as possible
• Size – Make HYQUATOR small and light weight so it can fit into a pocket or be worn as a belt
• Portability / Efficiency – Make it a hand-held device and allow it to be powered by batteries over a long period of time
• Durability – Produce HYQUATOR in a special case for maximum protection yet will be waterproof and can be completely immersed in water
Why We Need Funding
The funding goal is needed to produce 500 pieces of Hyquator and to get the production costs down to an affordable price. We also have start-up expenses to cover for the electrode design and case tooling for the injection mold fabrication. Also we need to cover development costs of a pre-production device, get FCC/CE and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approvals, that Hyquator works in respect with its regulations and in respect with the US Safe Drinking Water Act.
The more funds we raise allows us to bring the production costs down, to give Hyquator to people who really need it daily to sanitize their drinking water!
HYQUATOR can help you stay healthy while experiencing outdoor life, tracking, camping, extreme adventuring or simply travelling through countries where water is contaminated by disease-causing organisms. (i.e. me drinking TAP water last summer in Mexico City)
Please help us make this happen:
pledge it, share it, talk about it, tweet it, support it.
Feel free to contact us with any questions concerning the project.
Thank you so much for your support!
Lars & Friso
That's what our eco-friendly water bottle will look like:
NYC art work by:
Michiyo Fukushima is NY based fine artist. Her works have appeared and been featured in numerous newspapers and art magazines including the International Herald Tribune and American Artist magazine. Represented by Fischbach Gallery. Teaching at NY Academy.
How do you measure germicidal inactivation and how do you limit the formation of disinfection byproducts?
The disinfection process of HYQUATOR works by oxidation of organic compounds, molecules or humic substance based on carbon. Organic matter decomposes or "burns", changes its state to another that deform or destroy cell walls, impair or deform bacterial cell membranes, render enzymes non-functional and kill microbes by disrupting their metabolism and protein synthesis.
But also other organic contaminants, as natural organic matter are oxidized, reacting with chlorine and may produce disinfection byproducts which may pose health risks in excessive and long-term (chronic) exposure.
However, HYQUATOR limits the formation of disinfection byproducts by measuring the amount of total resolved solids. Its about to find the right balance between the generation of the sufficient amount of chlorine (residual and reactive) to kill or inactivate pathogenic microorganisms and to minimize the formation of disinfection byproducts.
As innovation, HYQUATOR measures the water chlorine demand over a specific period of time and together with environmental information about water temperature and pH we approximate how much resolved solids are present in the water by measuring the conductivity and also how many light will be absorbed! This is very effective to understand the water composition and how to treat it. If some amount of disinfectant remains in the water (residual/free chlorine) over a specific time period, it indicates that the disinfection process has finished!
So what we do is to form the disinfectant in "batches" and measure in real-time the chlorine demand and how water environmental parameters change over a specific time period. This help us to understand when to stop forming the disinfectant. Also in case of an excessive presents of organic compounds, as natural organic matter present in the water, we can measure that and decide to stop the disinfection process and alarm the user about the risk that too much disinfection byproducts are going to be formed if continued.
One question is how your device compares to existing filtering solutions that exist today. How does your product compare to these filters?
Most typical water purifying systems use one or more active carbon filters to remove suspended particles, heavy metals and chemical components. Active carbon filters filter microorganisms, viruses, bacteria, fungi in an initial stage of operation, however filters are not a method for killing or inactivating microorganisms. Pathogenic microorganisms may become attached to the activated carbon and may proliferate after a specific period of time and thereby increase the possibility to release or discharge contaminates out of the water purifying device. Because of this, activated carbon filters are required to be periodically replaced. Replacement and maintenance of water purifying devices that include filters in general is difficult and expensive.
HYQUATOR is not a filter, has no replacement parts and needs no maintenance.
HYQUATOR kills or inactivates all kind of pathogenic microorganisms, viruses, bacteria and fungi. In case of bacteria their membranes will be destroyed and in case of viruses their DNA structure will be inactivated, so that reproduction will be impossible. Carbon components in the water will be "oxidized" not removed.
I understand, your device is working on living organisms that will be killed by producing heat or chlorine?
HYQUATOR forms out of water and salt a disinfectant solution, a chlorine compound called sodium hypochlorite (NaCLO).
How much of the 'detergent' will evaporate? Is there a possibility that leftover detergent will be ingested?
Due to the fact that the disinfectant will be formed on-side, the chlorine solution is unstable and evaporates within 1-5 minutes after having disinfected the water. HYQUATOR measures and calculates how much disinfectant solution is needed to be formed to kill or inactivate pathogenic microorganisms in a certain period of time without leaving too much disinfectant residual in the water. We optimize this by measuring water environmental parameters, as temperature, the power of hydrogen (pH), the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and the conductivity in real time. Software algorithms analyse these parameter and regulate the overall process in the most efficient way to guarantee that the sufficient amount of disinfectant solution will be formed only in the minimum necessary quantity. The device work in respect with EPA's regulation for a maximum residual disinfectant level (MRDL) which is limited at 4ppm for chlorine. Our goal is to get it down to 1ppm that it will evaporate in minutes.
Yes, we did a lot of tests to understand how much disinfectant we need to produce to kill or inactivate all pathogenic microorganisms in a specific period of time. The chlorine demand of water necessary to kill or inactivate pathogenic microorganisms depends on various factors, temperature, pH, alkaline, intensity of light, how much chlorine will be absorbed, how much will be reduced by other chemical reactions, how much will be converted into a less active form by substances present in the water and how much will be taken up in the main disinfection process. Too small concentration cannot archive a sufficient disinfection and may still cause pathogenic microorganisms to grow. An excessive concentration may cause a health problem for people drinking water that was disinfected in this way. After all, there will be or not remaining chlorine present in the water, as total residual chlorine (TRC). Also reactive chlorine should be present as hypochlorous acid (HOCl), hypochlorite ion (OCI-) and as dissolved chlorine gas (CL2). All free available chorine will react with substances present in the water to be disinfected, also with ammonia to form chloramines as combined available chlorine. Mainly all portable devices for the disinfection of water based on electrolysis of water and sodium chloride to form sodium hypochlorite as disinfectant, don’t take care about these important facts and cannot guarantee a controlled disinfection process with clear results. Most portable devices are not equipped with sensors to measure what’s really going on into the water and regulate the disinfectant production out of these results. So we learned a lot and decided to add sensors and a microcontroller into HYQUATOR to overcome this problematic.
No, HYQUATOR is not a filter and will not remove anything from the water.
You can use the device to disinfect drinking water from unknown sources, at home, during travelling, camping or in developing countries. We would love to get the production costs down to make it affordable to people who really need it to disinfect their daily drinking water to survive.
At this moment we cannot confirm this!
There are peptide based hormones derived from proteins, chains of amino acids and steroid based, derived from cholesterol. Amino-acids are attacked by sodium hypochlorite and the steroid based ones, as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen are organic compounds and should be oxidized and loose their "messaging function". We haven't analyzed this yet, we'll test that in one of our next Lab tests.
Will the new version require the addition of salt to the contaminated water in order to create the solution? Or will the new version be able to be self sufficient without the addition of salt.
The new version will have an integrated small tank to store a sufficient amount of salt to allow disinfection of around 100 glasses of water. Through a connection, when the device is immersed into water, the salt becomes mixed with some water and this inside-generated salt-water solution goes directly into the electrolysis cell. The internal microprocessor will control this process by regulating the proper concentration.
If there are enough Na+ (sodium ions) and Cl- (chloride ions) present in the water (we measure that), there's no need to add additional salt to the water.
We measure with HYQUATOR the level of chlorine demand by water. As long as there are carbon compounds present in the water, due to oxidation, there will be a chlorine demand. Bacteria and viruses are also carbon based compounds. So theoretically measuring how long it takes to oxidize these compounds could indicate about how much the water is contaminated.
But we need to know the level of total organic carbon (TOC) present in the water, too. The water color gives a good indication about the level of total organic carbon present in water. We also measure that optically by the absorbance of light. Total organic carbon should be less than 1-3 mg/L to minimize the formation of disinfection byproducts. At this level the color of water is defined as "true" or "clear". There is a recommended maximum total organic carbon level of 2mg/L in treated water and 4 mg/L in source water limit, which are regulated in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Another issue is the chlorine demand by inorganic reducing agents, as iron, manganese, sulfide and ammonia. There is an additional chlorine that must be added to water to overcome the chlorine demand of these reducing agents, too. So drinking water contains not only bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms, but also organic and inorganic reducing agents, which have a chlorine demand. In average 1-1,5 mg/L of chlorine is consumed per mg/L of dissolved organic matter over a period of 24h at pH 8 at 25°C. Raw water demands 4-5 mg/L of chlorine over 24h to leave 1 mg/L of residual chlorine, treated water only needs 1-2 mg/L of chlorine over 24h.
So let's assume your tap water has a maximum total organic carbon of 2 mg/L means that there is a water chlorine demand of 3 mg/L only for these organic matter. However, chlorine is absorbed in different ways by different matter, so it's not possible for us to measure directly if the water is contaminated by bacteria, viruses and pathogenic microorganisms, but based on the change in chlorine demand over time, we calculate when the disinfection process has finished and the water is safe to drink!